COVID-19 | Con­struc­tion Works With­in Stra­ta Schemes

With the intro­duc­tion of the Envi­ron­men­tal Plan­ning and Assess­ment (COVID-19 Devel­op­ment – Con­struc­tion Work Days) Order 2020 on 31 March 2020 (the Order), stra­ta schemes may be faced with deci­sions to make regard­ing the con­tin­u­a­tion or com­mence­ment of build­ing works dur­ing the Gov­ern­ment imposed restric­tions and social dis­tanc­ing guidelines. 

Impact of con­struc­tion works in stra­ta schemes

In nor­mal times, con­struc­tion work with­in a stra­ta scheme impacts own­ers as:

  • com­mon prop­er­ty reme­di­al works can take place when required to allow an own­ers cor­po­ra­tion to meet its repair and main­te­nance oblig­a­tions impact­ing lot owners
  • lot own­ers can under­take ren­o­va­tion works (with approval) in their indi­vid­ual lots affect­ing adjoin­ing occupants
  • build­ing experts may need to car­ry out tests and inspect com­mon prop­er­ty requir­ing access to indi­vid­ual lots

How does an own­ers cor­po­ra­tion con­trol con­struc­tion works in nor­mal times

An own­ers cor­po­ra­tion can take steps to con­trol works on site including:

  • com­mon prop­er­ty rights by-laws may be spe­cial­ly resolved set­ting down terms and con­di­tions for build­ing works per­formed affect­ing com­mon property
  • by-laws as to noise, secu­ri­ty, access via com­mon prop­er­ty, rub­bish removal, etc

What can an own­ers cor­po­ra­tion do dur­ing COVID-19

To avoid or min­imise own­er com­plaints, giv­en the Order allows more than 2 peo­ple to gath­er’ for the pur­pos­es of work, an own­ers cor­po­ra­tion may:

  • impose on-site guide­lines requir­ing contractors/​experts to:
    • adhere to the social dis­tanc­ing rules
    • pro­mote good hand, sneeze and cough hygiene;
    • pro­vide alco­hol-based band rub for all staff;
    • reg­u­lar­ly clean and dis­in­fect sur­faces that many peo­ple touch; and
    • keep 1.5 metres away from others.
  • pass a by-law to restrict the num­ber of days and con­trac­tors allowed on site to min­imise the risks and spread of COVID-19
  • vary by-laws gov­ern­ing ren­o­va­tion works already in progress or to delay new works from being com­menced dur­ing COVID-19 (as long as these con­di­tions are rea­son­able in the circumstances)

We can assist in pro­vid­ing advice as to your stra­ta scheme’s unique sit­u­a­tion, draft appro­pri­ate by-laws and pro­vide advice to own­ers cor­po­ra­tions and/​or lot own­ers who may have entered or are enter­ing into a build­ing con­tract for works to ensure that pro­vi­sion is made for poten­tial delays caused as a result of Covid-19.

Con­tact the Stra­ta team today on 02 9233 5544.